Baby plays with cop’s ‘forgotten’ R5 rifle

2015-05-22 09:38
Nianke van Zyl (Lerato Maduna, Netwerk24)

Nianke van Zyl (Lerato Maduna, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Two West Rand police officers are facing disciplinary action after a 1-year-old baby began playing with an R5 rifle one of the officers forgot in her parents' home.

Nikita and Kobus van Zyl, from Randfontein on the West Rand, called the police shortly before 12:00 on Thursday after their home was broken into and a generator stolen, reported Netwerk24.

Two police officers later arrived and sat down in the lounge to take their statement. One of them left his weapon propped against the wall near the baby’s toys – and then forgot it there.

Nikita, 23, said she went ice cold when she found her baby girl "sitting and playing” with the rifle in the lounge.

‘My child was playing with the gun’

“They took my statement and left. I walked with them to the gate. Then I locked the gate behind me and went to the bathroom.

“When I came back, my child was sitting with the rifle in front of her and playing with it. She had pressed on the firearm.

“I quickly picked up my child and took a photo of the firearm. I called the police and told them about the rifle.

“The guilty police officer said I should keep the weapon in a safe place [and] he would fetch it later. The two [officers] arrived two hours later to get it.

“We didn’t know what to do. I asked a member of the community policing forum (CPF) to come to my house and asked him to take it. He put it on top of the cupboard.”

‘What if a shot went off?’

Kobus van Zyl said he did not want to give the gun back to the officers.

“I asked them if the rifle’s safety was on. They couldn’t answer me. I didn’t want to give the gun back to them. I wanted a senior officer to come get it.

 “A police officer with a more senior rank arrived. I then heard that the officer put the gun on the wall. My child let the rifle fall over and put it with her toys. What if a shot went off?

“Then I was told that I couldn’t lay a charge because my child wasn’t hurt.”

Police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said the police station concerned was made aware of the incident and disciplinary steps would be taken.

Read more on:    police  |  johannesburg

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